After the Brisbane River floods in 2011, this ex-1990’s cottage located in Chelmer, Brisbane, Australia, suffered major transformations. The River Room project, as the architects from Shaun Lockyer Architects decided to call it, needed a fresh new look. The primary requests were to establish a better connection to the river and make the house a little more spacious (and bright) than before. “This design was about maximising the connection with the river to create a open and light indoor / outdoor living experience.” The new built area captures stunning views over the river, while the rear of the house, completely renewed, allows now, the pale sunlight to sneak inside the house, during the cold winter days.
The interior is neat, airy and “wrapped” in timber. Floor-to-ceiling windows replaced one of regular walls, creating a more transparent and bright environment. Out of the sudden, the living room became brighter and warm, favouring social interaction. The clients have to adapt now to a new type of experience, in a more climatically responsive space. To increase the thermal mass, additional insulation has been installed in the ceiling, walls and floor.
Value for money is not, and never was, the same as being cheap. Value for money means making the most of whatever budget is available. A good example of this is Hayes Primary School in London, by Hayhurst and Co. Having to contend with a tightly controlled 3 million local authority budget, they worked with the existing structure of the primary school to give it a much needed update. A striking polished stainless steel brise-soleil facade installed at the school’s entrance, gives the school’s many different buildings a sense of identity, while new classrooms have been created in a range of shapes and sizes, and are often flooded with natural light
The best architects can create designs which will give clients and the public things they didn’t even realise they wanted, and this is especially important when architects are given the difficult brief of creating structures in much-loved, iconic areas.